If nothing else, author Mary Morris' sojourn to Orange County has proven that she's a confirmed New Yorker.
Morris, who left her Manhattan brownstone last fall to begin a two-year appointment as writer-in-residence at UC Irvine, won't be returning to UCI in the fall. Instead she'll be in Washington, where she will be the distinguished writer-in-residence at American University for a semester. And in the spring, she'll be back in New York where she'll teach writing in the graduate program at New York University.
"I liked a lot of things here, but I just think I need to be closer to what I know: I just feel I kind of missed family and friends back East," said Morris, who, as writer-in-residence, ran UCI's undergraduate creative writing curriculum and taught short-story writing: "Some of the students I worked with have been real writers and real pleasures to work with and I'm happy to have had the experience of working with them."
While in Orange County, the author of one novel and two collections of short stories had her first nonfiction book published, "Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone" (Houghton Mifflin). Morris' vivid account of the people and places she encountered during an 18-month odyssey through Mexico and Central America has been the No. 1 general nonfiction best-seller at independent bookstores in Orange County.